Company’s may pay, but people buy

A few week’s back I attended a really good webinar being hosted by Client Success with guest speaker Dave Jackson, CEO of TheCustomer.Co. Dave’s presentation was titled, ‘How human psychology impacts Customer Success‘. During the presentation, Dave gave out many great nuggets on this topic, but the one that resonated most with me was the simple phrase. “Company’s may pay, but people buy.”

Company’s may pay, but people buy

Has there ever been a more relevant phrase spoken when it comes to B2B SaaS. When a company decides it needs a new piece of software, or an alternative to an existing piece of software, a project to find the right solution is started. The project typically will outline what the software needs to achieve, key requirements, integrations, migration, budget and so on.

The company wants to know that it is paying a fair price for a software package that delivers on their requirements. However its the people (individual or team) that will decide which software provider is chosen.

Requirements, Price and Relationship

To the people making the decision, there are typically three key factors that determine their decision.

F.F.E – Fact, Fact, Emotion

James Harding 2020
  • Does the software meet all their requirements? (Fact)
  • Is the price within budget and inline with other providers? (Fact)
  • Do the decision makers feel confident in their relationship with the software provider to be able to build a positive partnership and resolve any unforseen issues. (Emotion)

When on-boarding a new customer the first two questions I often ask are:

  1. What are you hoping to achieve with our software?
  2. What made you pick our software over any other provider?

Now you might expect the answer to question two to be, “Price”, or “Functionality”. But so many times, across different companies I have worked for I hear the same answers.

  • “You came across as the most supportive provider.”
  • “Your reputation for your customer success and support.”
  • “You listened to us and really understood our world.”
  • “Your willingness to really help us move to your software and help with training.”
  • “You were recommended.”
  • “I have used you with a previous customer.”

It is likely that your competition has some of these benefits, but were not able to communicate them within their sales process.

Emotion can outweigh Fact

Company's may pay, but people buy
Positive Customer Relationships

Price, and even requirements can often be overlooked if the customer is able to build a strong positive relationship with your company. I have worked with a number of clients who have said we were slightly more expensive than other providers, but our service and willingness to go the extra mile, made the decision. Even if your software doesn’t currently tick all your customers requirements, if there is an honest and open discussion about this, and what can be done to mitigate this, it can go a long way is building both a positive customer relationship and securing a sale.

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